Porto Flip: Easy 3-Ingredient Cocktail [The Ultimate Recipe]

The Porto Flip is a classic cocktail renowned for its rich, creamy texture and deep, complex flavor profile. Made with brandy, port wine, and egg yolk, shaken vigorously and served in a chilled cocktail glass, it’s often garnished with freshly grated nutmeg.

This indulgent drink boasts a velvety mouthfeel, with the warmth of brandy complementing the sweet, fruity notes of port wine. Ideal for after-dinner sipping and special occasions, it pairs well with chocolate desserts and nutty flavors. A staple in sophisticated cocktail menus, the Porto Flip is a timeless choice for connoisseurs.


The Porto Flip cocktail is a classic blend of 15 ml (0.5 oz) of brandy, a smooth, distilled wine spirit, and 45 ml (1.5 oz) of port wine, a sweet, fortified wine from Portugal. Adding to the creaminess, an egg yolk is used. To cool the mix, ice cubes are essential. Optionally, nutmeg, freshly grated or ground, is used as a garnish to add a spicy aroma.

  • Brandy: 15 ml (0.5 oz)
  • Port Wine: 45 ml (1.5 oz)
  • Egg Yolk: From 1 egg
  • Ice Cubes: As needed
  • Nutmeg: Optional, for garnish (ground or grated, ideally fresh)

Ingredient Substitutes

Substituting ingredients in the Porto Flip can personalize the drink to your taste. Instead of brandy, try using bourbon or even rum, for a deeper flavor profile. Swap port wine with sherry or sweet red vermouth. If egg yolk is a concern, pasteurized egg yolk or egg substitutes work well. To mimic the spicy hint of nutmeg, consider cinnamon or allspice as alternatives.

  • Brandy Substitute: Bourbon, Rum
  • Port Wine Substitute: Sherry, Vermouth
  • Egg Yolk Substitute: Pasteurized Egg Yolk, Egg Substitutes
  • Nutmeg Substitute: Cinnamon, Allspice

Ingredient Proportions

The classic Porto Flip cocktail follows a ratio of 1:1:3, comprising Brandy, Egg Yolk and Port Wine, respectively. This means for every one part of Brandy used, three parts of Port Wine, and one small Egg Yolk should be added. The ratio ensures a balanced blend of flavors but can be adjusted according to personal taste preferences. Modifying the ratio slightly allows for highlighting different elements of the drink, creating a unique tasting experience.

  • Ratio: 1 part Brandy, 1 Egg Yolk, 3 parts Port Wine
  • Adjustable: Yes, for personalization
  • Balance: Ensures a harmonious flavor

Best Ingredients

Selecting high-quality ingredients for the Porto Flip elevates the cocktail experience. Opt for a smooth, well-aged Brandy and a rich, flavorful Port Wine. Fresh egg yolk ensures creaminess and a silky texture. If nutmeg is used, freshly grated nutmeg provides the best aroma and taste. While brand names are not specified, choosing ingredients known for their quality and flavor profile is key.

  • Brandy: Smooth, well-aged
  • Port Wine: Rich, flavorful
  • Egg Yolk: Fresh
  • Nutmeg: Freshly grated (optional)

Flavor Profile

The Porto Flip cocktail offers a complex and rich flavor profile. The Brandy provides warmth and depth, while the Port Wine adds sweetness and a fruity undertone. The egg yolk introduces a creamy texture, balancing the strong flavors. Nutmeg, if used, offers a spicy note. The drink is smooth, with a luxurious mouthfeel, making it both indulgent and highly drinkable.

  • Brandy: Warmth, depth
  • Port Wine: Sweetness, fruity notes
  • Egg Yolk: Creaminess, balance
  • Nutmeg: Spicy note (optional)
  • Drinkability: Smooth, luxurious

Tools & Equipment

Crafting the perfect Porto Flip requires specific bar tools to ensure precision and quality. A cocktail shaker is essential for mixing the ingredients thoroughly. A strainer is needed when pouring the drink into the glass, ensuring a smooth texture. A measuring jigger helps in accurately measuring the ingredients. For garnishing with nutmeg, a grater is ideal. Lastly, a chilled cocktail glass enhances the drinking experience.

  1. Cocktail Shaker: For mixing
  2. Strainer: To pour smoothly
  3. Measuring Jigger: For accuracy
  4. Grater: For nutmeg garnish
  5. Cocktail Glass: To serve

Instructions for Preparation

To prepare a Porto Flip cocktail, first measure and combine 15 ml (0.5 oz) Brandy, 45 ml (1.5 oz) Port Wine, and one Egg Yolk in a cocktail shaker. Add plenty of ice and shake vigorously for around 15 seconds. Strain the mixture into a pre-chilled cocktail glass and optionally garnish with freshly grated nutmeg. Serving the drink immediately ensures it remains fresh and chilled.

  1. Measure Ingredients: Using a jigger, measure 15 ml (0.5 oz) Brandy, 45 ml (1.5 oz) Port Wine, and one Egg Yolk.
  2. Combine in Shaker: Add all measured ingredients into the cocktail shaker.
  3. Add Ice: Fill the shaker with ice cubes.
  4. Shake Well: Secure the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15 seconds.
  5. Strain: Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass using a strainer.
  6. Garnish: Optionally, sprinkle nutmeg over the top for garnish.
  7. Serve Immediately: Enjoy the drink while it’s fresh and chilled.

Stir or Shake

The Porto Flip cocktail is traditionally shaken, not stirred. Shaking is crucial as it thoroughly integrates the egg yolk with the other ingredients, ensuring a uniform, creamy texture. Stirring won’t achieve the same level of emulsification or the frothy top that shaking provides. Always shake vigorously for about 15 seconds for the best results.

  • Method: Shake
  • Reason: Integrates egg yolk, achieves creaminess
  • Duration: Approx. 15 seconds

Ice (Chilling & Dilution)

Ice plays a vital role in the Porto Flip. Use plenty of ice cubes in the shaker to chill the drink quickly and achieve slight dilution, which is essential for balancing the flavors. Additionally, pre-chilling the cocktail glass enhances the serving experience, keeping the drink cold for longer. The type and amount of ice in the shaker are key factors in achieving the perfect chill and dilution.

  • In Shaker: Plenty of ice cubes
  • Purpose: Quick chilling, slight dilution
  • Pre-Chill: Cocktail glass

Scaling (For a Group)

To serve the Porto Flip at gatherings, simply multiply the ingredients by the number of servings required. Maintain the 1:1:3 ratio (Brandy:Egg Yolk:Port Wine) for consistency. Prepare in batches in a larger shaker, and serve each drink freshly shaken. This ensures every glass has the right texture and temperature.

  • Multiply: Ingredients as per servings
  • Consistency: Keep ratio constant
  • Batch Prep: Larger shaker

Troubleshooting (Biggest Mistakes)

Common mistakes when making a Porto Flip include over or under shaking, leading to either a too frothy or not creamy enough texture. Incorrect ingredient proportions can throw off the balance of flavors. Not chilling the glass can result in a less refreshing drink. Ensure the egg yolk is fresh to avoid any off-tastes and shake each serving individually to maintain consistency and texture.

  • Over/Under Shaking: Affects texture
  • Proportions: Keep accurate for balance
  • Glass Temp: Always pre-chill
  • Egg Yolk: Must be fresh
  • Individual Serving: For consistency

Avoiding these pitfalls will greatly enhance the quality of the Porto Flip.


Choosing the right glassware and garnish for the Porto Flip can significantly enhance the drink’s presentation and sensory appeal.


The classic choice for serving a Porto Flip is a martini glass. This glassware highlights the drink’s elegant appearance and frothy top. For an alternative, a coupe glass offers a similar aesthetic with a broader bowl, ideal for aromatic cocktails like the Porto Flip. These options not only enhance the visual appeal but also the olfactory experience of the cocktail, making each sip delightful.

  • Classic: Cocktail (Martini) Glass
  • Alternative: Coupe Glass
  • Purpose: Enhances visual and aromatic experience


Traditionally, the Porto Flip is garnished with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg, adding a subtle, spicy aroma. For a creative twist, consider adding a small, flame-kissed orange peel on the rim for a citrusy scent, or a cinnamon stick for an added visual appeal and complementary flavor. These garnishes not only elevate the presentation but also add layers of aroma and flavor, enhancing the overall drinking experience.

  • Classic: Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • Creative: Flame-Kissed Orange Peel, Cinnamon Stick
  • Purpose: Adds aroma, flavor, and visual appeal

Variations & Riffs

The Porto Flip belongs to a family of rich, creamy cocktails, each with its unique twist. Variations include the Brandy Alexander, which replaces port wine with cream and adds a touch of crème de cacao for sweetness. The New York Flip substitutes port wine with bourbon and adds cream for a smoother texture. For a coffee-flavored variant, the Espresso Martini is a great choice, blending coffee liqueur with vodka and espresso. The Whiskey Sour, with its bourbon and lemon juice base, offers a tangy contrast to the Porto Flip’s sweetness.

  • Brandy Alexander: Cream, Crème de Cacao
  • New York Flip: Bourbon, Cream
  • Espresso Martini: Coffee Liqueur, Vodka, Espresso
  • Whiskey Sour: Bourbon, Lemon Juice

Experiment (Creating Your Own Riff)

To create your own riff on the Porto Flip, start by experimenting with the base spirit. Swap Brandy with bourbon, rum, or even a flavored vodka for a different profile. Instead of Port Wine, try sherry, Madeira, or a sweet vermouth. Adjust the sweet and creamy elements by experimenting with various syrups, creams, or even flavored liqueurs. For a more adventurous twist, infuse the base spirit with herbs or spices for added depth.

Remember, the key is to maintain a balance between the spirit, sweetness, and creaminess.

  • Base Spirit: Try bourbon, rum, flavored vodka
  • Wine Substitute: Sherry, Madeira, Sweet Vermouth
  • Additions: Syrups, creams, flavored liqueurs
  • Infusions: Herbs, spices for depth

Experimenting with these variations can lead to a unique and personalized take on the Porto Flip, offering a fresh perspective on this classic cocktail.

Serving Occasions

The Porto Flip cocktail, with its rich and luxurious profile, is ideal for special occasions. It’s a superb choice for after-dinner sipping, adding a touch of elegance to dinner parties or intimate gatherings. The cocktail’s warmth and depth make it perfect for cooler weather, especially during autumn and winter celebrations. Its sophisticated nature also suits formal events, like cocktail hours or black-tie affairs, where its classic charm can be fully appreciated.

  • After-Dinner: Adds elegance to gatherings
  • Cooler Weather: Ideal for autumn and winter
  • Formal Events: Perfect for cocktail hours, black-tie affairs

Food Pairings

When it comes to food pairings, the Porto Flip’s rich and creamy nature complements a variety of desserts. It pairs exceptionally well with desserts that are chocolate-based or contain nuts and dried fruits, as the sweetness of the Port Wine enhances these flavors. For a cheese pairing, blue cheese or aged cheddar create a delightful contrast with the cocktail’s sweetness.

  • Desserts: Chocolate, nuts, dried fruits
  • Cheese Pairing: Blue cheese, aged cheddar

The Porto Flip’s versatility in pairing and its suitability for various occasions make it a timeless choice for those who appreciate a cocktail with depth and sophistication.

Why is the cocktail called a “Porto Flip”?

The name “Porto Flip” derives from two key aspects of the cocktail. Firstly, it includes Port, a fortified wine from Porto, Portugal. Secondly, the preparation technique involves ‘flipping‘ or shaking the ingredients together. This combination of a specific ingredient and the preparation method gives the cocktail its distinctive name. Historically, the Porto Flip was first recorded by Jerry Thomas in his 1862 book “The Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks; A Bon Vivant’s Companion,” albeit under the name “Coffee Cocktail,” named for its appearance rather than its ingredients.

What is a “Flip” cocktail?

A “flip” cocktail is a classic category of mixed drinks characterized by the inclusion of a raw egg (yolk, white or whole), usually combined with heavy cream and sweet syrup or liqueur, shaken to create a creamy consistency and a frothy top.

The family includes the Porto Flip, known for its blend of port wine and brandy; a Brandy Flip that also includes brandy but skips the port; or the Sherry Flip, featuring sherry wine. The Rum Flip is another popular variant, offering a warm, spicy profile; while the Gin Flip introduces a botanical twist to the creamy base.

The flip cocktails are often thought of as dessert drinks, enjoyed particularly in the winter holiday season. So the category also often includes eggnog type concoctions, like Tom and Jerry and Sleeper.

Porto Flip Cocktail

Porto Flip

The Porto Flip is a classic cocktail with rich, creamy texture and deep, warm flavors from brandy, port wine and egg yolk. Served in an elegant stemmed cocktail glass, often garnished with nutmeg.
Total Time 5 minutes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • ½ oz Brandy
  • oz Port wine
  • oz Egg yolk (from one small egg)
  • Nutmeg (optional - for garnish; grated or ground; ideally fresh)


  • Chill Glass: Pre-chill glass in a freezer or with ice.
  • Measure Ingredients: Using a jigger, measure brandy, port wine, and egg yolk.
  • Combine: Place the measured ingredients into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add Ice: Fill the shaker with ice to chill and slightly dillute the mixture.
  • Shake: Shake the mixture vigorously for about 15 seconds to ensure a creamy consistency.
  • Strain: Carefully strain the cocktail into a pre-chilled cocktail glass.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle freshly grated (or ground) nutmeg over the top for an aromatic finish.


Calories: 131kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 2gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 9mgPotassium: 50mgSugar: 3gVitamin A: 136IUCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.4mg
Calories: 131kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: brandy, egg yolk, port wine
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